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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

June 18th Grunenbach to Immendstadt

We woke up somehow refreshed and ate the scrumptious and generous breakfast laid out by our hostess, who had a little girl a little younger than Boen. She was so impressed by our bike that she asked to take a picture, and in exchange I extracted a picture from her as well.

The climb out was steep but very manageable in a refreshed state while the day was still cool. We made it to Oberstaufen by 10:00am, and stopped at the first sports shop that we saw. They told us they weren't a bike shop and so couldn't effect the repairs we needed, but that Oli's bike shop could. We rode around for a bit before finding it across the street from the train station. There, the mechanic saw us, and motioned us around to the mechanic's side of the business. In the time it took for me to take Bowen up the steps to use the bathroom, he'd had a new bolt installed.

“How much was it?” “The price,” he told us, “is a smile on your face!” With that kind of service I laughed and tried to find a replacement bladder for Boen's camelbak, which was leaking whenever it was filled any more than a quarter full. He didn't have any in stock, so told us to look for the main branch of the shop past Immendstadt.

I suggested the swimming pool to Bowen and he jumped on it. They were running a special that day, 2 hours for the price of one, so we paid the fee and went in. The slide was great, and I took Boen down it several time with Bowen, and after they tired of it we went to the baby pool and I had a swim in the lap pool as well.

Refreshed, we bought lunch at the supermarket and had a picnic in the town's Kurpark.

After lunch, it was time to ride to Immenstadt. I booked an apartment close to the town center: it was priced high as there wasn't much availability despite it being midweek, a mystery I was never able to solve. Unfortunately, our plans hit a snag once we got onto the bike path, which was that between the efforts of the swimming pool and the mid-afternoon sun, Boen fell asleep!

We stopped and Boen napped for about 20 minutes before waking up and was ready to go. The path to Immendstadt goes on the north side of the lake, opposite the main highway, which made it a beautiful and quiet alternative, and granted us views of the lake only interrupted by the train tracks running alongside it.

The lake was gorgeous, and when we found a suitably shaded spot with a nice vantage point, we stopped and rested, taking pictures, letting Bowen and Boen lie down on the bench as the world went by.

Unfortunately, at the break spot, I discoverred that my Canon G7X II was now broken: the lens cap/shutter mechanism had gotten stuck, and the lens would never fully open or close ever again. I considered replacing it, but not at European prices, especially in a situation where I'd never be able to get my VAT tax back. Luckily, prior to the trip, Xiaoqin had acquired a state of the art Pixel 3A XL, reportedly the best smartphone camera in the business. I turned on RAW mode on her phone, and would later discover that it was a worthless endeavor: the good photos was entirely because of the on-board photo-merging/pinning software, and nothing you did in Lightroom could compensate for that.

The bike path took us right into town, where our navigation system told us to leave it and go under a tunnel where we emerged into a neighborhood that adjoined a major road with a ton of traffic. Nevertheless, we were committed but the owner of the apartment waved us in and told us that we could easily just park our bikes outside the house all night and not have any problem, but that he wanted to be paid in cash. With our cash reserves too low to pay him right away, we moved in, took an inventory of what needed to be bought for dinner, and I took the ebike out to find an ATM.

After that, I walked over to the supermarket, which was described as 100m from the apartment, but in reality was closer to 200m. I bought a selection of groceries suitable for dinner and breakfast, and then walked back. After showering the kids and laundry, I made dinner, since we were all too tired to walk back to town for dinner.

I looked at the map and the forecast, which was for rain in the afternoon. We were close enough to Fussen to conceivably make it there tomorrow. If the rain forecast played out, Fussen was potentially a better place to be in, since it had good train connections to other places worth seeing, and the castles were obviously a good place to spend a rainy day. Moreover, it was big enough to have car rental places, so we could for instance, visit Garmisch and other must-sees on our itinerary without losing time. It would change our route, but weather should always change your cycling plans if your desire is to have fun rather than just be riding for the sake of riding.

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